[MARMAM] New publication: Population structure of Kogia from the Southern Hemisphere

Stephanie Plön, PhD stephanie.ploen at gmail.com
Sun Nov 19 03:32:12 PST 2023

Dear MARMAM community,

On behalf of my co-authors, I am pleased to share with you our new
publication in *Advances in Marine Biology*:

Stephanie Plön, Peter B. Best, Pádraig Duignan,

Shane D. Lavery, Ric T.F. Bernard, Koen Van Waerebeek, and

C. Scott Baker (2023). Population structure of pygmy (*Kogia breviceps*)
and dwarf

(*Kogia sima*) sperm whales in the Southern Hemisphere may reflect foraging

and dispersal patterns. Advances in Marine Biology 96, 85-114.


Little is known about the biology of pygmy (*Kogia breviceps*) and dwarf (*K.

sperm whales as these animals are difficult to observe in the wild.
However, both

species strand frequently along the South African, Australian and New

coastlines, providing samples for these otherwise inaccessible species. The
use of DNA samples from tissue and DNA extracted from historical material,
such as teeth and bone, allowed a first analysis of the population
structure of both species in the

Southern Hemisphere. A 279 base pair consensus region of the mitochondrial
cytochrome b gene was sequenced for 96 K. breviceps (53 tissue and 43 teeth
or bone samples) and 29 *K. sima* (3 tissue and 26 teeth or bone samples),
and 26 and 12 unique haplotypes were identified, respectively. *K.
breviceps* showed a higher

nucleotide diversity of 0.82% compared to 0.40% in K. sima. Significant
genetic differentiation was detected in the Southern Hemisphere between K.
breviceps from

South Africa and New Zealand (ФST = 0.042, p < 0.05). Mitochondrial control

sequences (505 bp) were available for 44 individuals (41 *K. breviceps* and
3 *K. sima*) for comparative purposes. A comprehensive global phylogenetic
analysis (maternal

lineage) of our sequences together with all available *Kogia* mtDNA
sequences largely

supported previously published phylogenetic findings, but highlighted some

changed inferences about oceanic divergences within both species. The higher

nucleotide diversity and low population differentiation observed in *K.
breviceps* may

result from its broad foraging ecology and wide distribution, which may
indicate a

more opportunistic feeding behaviour and tolerance towards a larger range
of water

temperatures than *K. sima*.

If you are interested in a pdf copy please e-mail me at:
stephanie.ploen at gmail.com

Kind regards, Stephanie Plön
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